Villiare small finger-like projections found in the small intestine. They aid the absorption of soluble food molecules in the digestive system.

Role in the small intestine[edit | edit source]

Villi significantly increase the rate of diffusion of soluble food molecules in the small intestine through a variety of means:

  • They are folded to provide a large surface area over which diffusion can take place. They additionally have microvilli to further increase the surface area for diffusion.
  • They have a large, constant blood supply to maintain a steep concentration gradient.
  • Their walls are only one cell thick to provide a short diffusion path.
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